Once again, President Obama is doing what Congress can’t do because of Republican obstructionism. Thanks to the Obama Administration, the Labor Department will soon be raising the current overtime threshold from $23,660 to as much as $52,000 which will extend time and a half overtime pay to millions of hard-working American employees. Currently, those who make under $23,660 are eligible to receive overtime pay. That accounts for approximately 12 percent of the working population. With the new law, which will place the eligibility at the median American income, up to 1o million Americans will see a raise – one that they have earned.
Politico is calling the move the “most ambitious government intervention on wages in a decade.”
No doubt this is a huge victory for the American people, and another blow to the selfishness plaguing our economy. Republicans are already trying to kill the idea and have scheduled a hearing for June 10 on the federal minimum wage and overtime pay. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who is chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, is spearheading opposition, saying the rule is “engineered” to make employment “unappealing” in the United States. Ted Cruz’s spokesman responded to the rule with an Obamacare joke. Ben Carson said there was no need for such a rule.
Democratic candidates Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders have both called for overtime pay in their campaign announcements. Sanders told his audience it’s a “scandal” that employees who are working overtime are not properly compensated for their work. Notice the stark difference in attitude towards this no-brainer: Democrats are supportive of giving millions of working Americans their just compensation for their work, while Republicans are calling it an “engineered” tactic to discourage business.
Now we truly know Republicans completely hate labor and those who partake in it. Opposing overtime pay can be seen as supporting a form of workforce slavery. Not paying workers a fair price for work their bosses make them do in order to keep their jobs? Gee, Republicans are really making their hatred for middle-class America known. They don’t seem to even hide it anymore.
This is a solution to a problem that literally affects millions of honest Americans trying to make it in a recovering economy. Once again, the Obama Administration is stepping up to bat for the American people. The 2016 election is coming faster than we think. Whoever is the nominee for the Democrats is someone we need to mobilize behind. There is so much a stake for the American worker.
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